Monday, August 26, 2013

Towelephants: How to Fold a Pachyderm

The coolest elephant in town.

If you've ever wanted to spice up your linen closet with a pachyderm or two, you've come to the right place. Whether your fluffy, homemade towel elephant (a.k.a. towelephant) is meant for welcoming a guest to their new room cruise ship style, reenacting scenes from Disney's Dumbo or simply enjoying the art of folding towels origami style (towelgami), this fun and illustrated guide can help you turn any set of towels into an adorable, little elephant of your own.

To begin, you will need two towels. For a standard elephant, a bath towel and a hand towel work great. Once you have the basics down, try mixing other combinations (beach towel, wash cloth, etc.) to yield different shapes and sizes for your terry cloth pals.

Mind the gap!

Step 1: Lay the bath towel out flat and fold the two sides in hot dog style, leaving a gap an inch or two wide in the middle (where the proverbial hot dog would go).

We're on a roll!

Step 2: Roll one end of the towel towards the center (cinnamon roll style?), stopping halfway.

Towel Scroll!

Step 3: Roll the other end of the towel in to meet the first. If one roll ends up bigger (more elephantine??) than the other, re-roll until they are roughly the same size.


Step 4: Bend the dual rolls in half, so the swirly ends are now the feet of your future towel elephant. If your elephant base won't stay up or refuses to bend pliantly, you might benefit from a wider gap in Step 1.

Next up: the towel elephant head!

Towel sailboat!

Step 5: Lay the hand towel out flat and fold two corners in until they meet in the center, leaving you with a sailboat sort of look, or the first steps of a stellar paper airplane.

Rollin', rollin', rollin'.

Step 6: Roll one triangle tightly in toward the center and stop halfway. If you have trouble with this part and don't have another set of hands to help, try placing a heavy item like a chair leg on the tip so you can focus on rolling. 

Towel Airplane?

Step 7: Roll the other triangle in snugly to meet the first. The tighter the rolls are near the tip, the easier to bend and keep aloft your towel elephant's trunk!

Wait for it...

Step 8: Flip the triangle towel roll over so the crevice where the rolls meet is face down.

Towel Elephant, a HEAD of his time.

Step 9: Fold down the top edge of the towel just until the other edges begin to show underneath. Tuck in the bases of the ears if they get too floppy for your liking. Only one step left!

The Towelephant!

Step 10: Balance the elephant head atop the elephant body, puff out the ears and curl the trunk for a bit of added adorableness (as if it needed it). 

VOILA! In ten easy steps, you have your very own towel elephant to love and cherish forever. Or until you need to shower. The real question is, do you wash with... Ivory?

Look at that trunk space!

Pink elephants on parade.

A band of Towelephants (they play the washboard very well).

The end!


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you! ()^/\^()
      (In case you're wondering, that's a happy elephant, trunk raised high in gratitude!)